Hempstead Dog Bite Lawyer
The average animal attack financial settlement has increased significantly since 2007. Rising medical costs are partially responsible for this increase. Additionally, doctors understand these personal injuries much better than they did a decade or more ago. In addition to gruesome physical injuries which normally require reconstructive surgery, these victims also suffer from severe emotional injuries. Both the visible and invisible injuries are permanent, at least to an extent.
The insurance company has a dedicated group of lawyers who work hard to reduce or deny compensation to victims. So, you need an equally hard working Hempstead dog bite lawyer from the Giuffré Law Offices on your side. Since we are dedicated to your recovery, we quickly connect dog bite victims with top doctors. Then, after we gather evidence which supports your claim, we never stop fighting for you.
Legal Options for Victims
The Empire State has one of the most owner-friendly dog bite laws in the country. Therefore, it’s difficult, but certainly not impossible, for victims to obtain fair compensation for their serious injuries.
Even if the dog did not display vicious propensities, as outlined below, the owner could be liable for medical expenses, if the animal attacks someone. Medical bills are normally the largest component of the economic losses in a negligence claim. Other economic losses include property damage and lost wages.
New York courts also recognize scienter (knowledge), which is based on the common law one-bite rule. If the animal displayed vicious propensities and attacked someone, the owner could be liable for all economic damages, as well as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other noneconomic losses. Evidence of viciousness includes:
- Savage barking,
- Low growling,
- Sudden lunging, and
- Baring of teeth.
A Hempstead dog bite lawyer must establish one or more vicious propensities by a preponderance of the proof, or more likely than not. That’s the lowest standard of proof in New York law.
Generally, the ordinary negligence and negligence per se doctrines are not available in dog bite claims.
Common Insurance Company Defenses
The provocation defense, which is an offshoot of contributory negligence, and assumption of the risk are the most common dog bite defenses in New York.
Provocation has a very limited meaning in this context. Normally, provocation could be unintentional, or at least not malicious. Furthermore, provocation is usually only a verbal act. But in a dog bite claim, provocation is always intentional and usually malicious. Victims cannot accidentally provoke animals simply because they move fast or make a loud noise.
Indeed, “provocation” is almost synonymous with “torture.” The insurance company must prove that the victim inflicted so much pain on the animal that it had to respond violently to defend itself.
For this reason, some victims, such as young children, cannot provoke dogs to attack as a matter of law.
The assumption of the risk defense usually involves a “Beware of Dog” or other warning sign. Contrary to popular myth, these signs don’t immunize owners from liability. These signs simply make the assumption of the risk defense easier to prove. The insurance company must still show that the victim saw the sign, could read the sign, and could understand what it meant. If the victim was a small child, older adult, or someone with limited English skills, these elements are difficult to establish.
Reach Out to an Experienced Hempstead Dog Bite Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Hempstead, contact the Giuffré Law Offices, P.C. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.